It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ryanair? Love it!

We're lucky enough to live in Europe and have access to the real budget airlines, Ryanair ( being one of my favourites.

Ryanair really divides opinion.  People either love them or hate them.  They're cheap, nasty and absolutely no-frills - but they've never claimed to be anything else.  They have the highest on-time arrivals and departures of any airline in Europe, and they've never lost my luggage.  Though, apparently, if they do lose your luggage you can pretty much wave goodbye to ever seeing it again (ask my cousin Mel whose bag they lost, containing her first and only pair of Chanel heels).  Chanel heels?  Swoon.

I'm a big fan of Ryanair.  They don't claim to be anything fancy, and they're out for any free bit of publicity they can get (e.g charging one euro to go the loo whilst on board - every paper in the world picked up on that rumour).  My best ever deal was 0.01E each way from Friedrichshafen to London Stansted return (yes, that's one euro cent each way).  I had to pay the mandatory 5E each way on-line check-in fee (you can't escape it), but no-one, absolutely no-one can knock a total fare of E10.02.  If you're flexible you can pretty much always get VERY cheap deals.  Just scroll through their on-line flight calendar day by day for a month and you'll find them.

You're allowed 10kg of carry-on luggage at no cost, as long as you keep your one piece (and, trust me, they will only allow one piece) of luggage within their prescribed measurements.  They weigh your bag before they'll let you through security, and if you've got more than 10kg they're going to either charge you for it or you've quickly got to find another way to get it on board.

I always wear a coat with BIG pockets (regardless of the weather, I've always got that coat) so that I can put my heavy things in the pockets (purse, camera, keys, book) so they don't get counted in my 10kg carry-on weight.  The stuff I've carried back in those pockets is astonishing - packs of bacon, custard powder, pots of Harrods Roquefort ...

I've also been known to wear more clothes than required, because I've been over my 10kg.  My last Ryanair flight back from London saw me wearing a pair of Joules ( pink chicken printed rubber boots on board because they were so big that a) they wouldn't have fitted in my carry-on, and b) they were really heavy.  I got some strange looks that day for sure!

My cousin Moose, who was back-packing around Europe in 2009, flew Ryanair from Germany to the UK and was very concerned that he would be over his 15kg check-in weight, and his 10kg carry-on weight, so he decided to wear his pair of cargo shorts under his jeans, to save weight.  Mistake.  At security the staff became aware that he looked excessively bulky in his nether regions.  They took him into a secure room and he had to strip in front of a man armed with a machine gun.  Great story, but lesson learnt!

One other thing to keep in mind when flying Ryanair, be very careful which airports you fly in and out of.  The airports that they use are quite deceptively named, e.g Munich isn't really near Munich, and Frankfurt isn't really near Frankfurt.  The money you save on their cheap flights can be totally blown with one cab fare to where you need to be.  Use Google Maps to figure out where the airports actually are.

Easyjet (  is another low-cost airline, but it's not nearly as cheap as Ryanair and they tend to fly from bigger airports, so I don't use them so much.  One good thing with them is that they don't have a carry-on weight limit, you can take as much as you like, so long as you fit within their prescribed luggage measurement.  Again, they allow only one piece of carry-on.  Not even a camera around your neck and one piece of carry-on.  Not a handbag and one piece of carry-on.  Seriously, it's only one piece of carry-on.

What's been your cheapest ever flight deal?

Just in case you were wondering why I've put links to the companies I've mentioned above, there's no benefit to me for doing that, I just thought it might make it easier for you to find them.  Though, if Ryanair are reading this and want to give me a free flight, please, go right ahead!


  1. Just a test, so see if I can post a comment as no-one else seems to be able to.

  2. You'll probably de-friend me for admitting this, but I haven't been on an airplane in over 10 years!

  3. You, I would never de-friend! Woot! So glad it worked. I guess it's the log-in thing after all. Smiley face.

  4. Another great Post! It made me laugh (you with pockets of bacon, custard & cheese donning pink wellies!), you made me gasp (Oy! Moose!!!) and you nearly made me cry (losing Chanel...the HORROR!) Not sure I'm game to fly RyanAir—unless of course I had a seasoned escort like yourself to guide me through the process!

  5. My best memory of flying Ryanair was trying to decipher the emergency landing card with the stranger next to me. We are pretty sure you're not allowed to take your dentures with you if you exit via the emergency slide. Sadly Ryanair doesn't seem to fly out of F'hafen anymore (?) (At least we don't have to go all the way to Munich to catch the "Munich" flights...)


Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!